SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 13, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — StemBioSys, Inc. (StemBioSys) announced today the launch of NeuroMatrix™, an astrocyte-derived extracellular matrix that enables the culture of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) derived and primary neural cell types. StemBioSys designed NeuroMatrix™ to expand the use of iPSC-derived neurons in drug discovery and toxicity testing.
“NeuroMatrix™ represents a breakthrough in hiPSC-derived neuronal development as there now is a technology that enables the culture of a variety of iPSC-derived and primary neural cell types, including cortical neurons, cortical astrocytes, microglia, spinal motor neurons, and neural stem cells,” said Bob Hutchens, StemBioSys President and CEO. “Currently, the use of human pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons is limited by their slow and incomplete maturation and the short longevity of cultures. Our goal with NeuroMatrix™ is to improve the production and biologic relevance of iPSC derived neurons, which we believe is critical to their future in clinical applications.”
NeuroMatrix™ is an astrocyte-derived extracellular matrix that provides the necessary biochemical and mechanical cues to allow for the differentiation, maturation, and assay of mature neural cell types. The technology allows for the development of a variety of iPSC-derived and primary neural cell types in mono- and co-culture for use in a variety of applications, including excitotoxicity studies and neurite outgrowth.
“Novel tools to improve the biologic relevance and ease of use for hiPSC-derived neurons are important for facilitating new applications of the cells that can help fulfill their promise for improving basic and translational research,” said Jeanne Loring, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Scripps Research and founder of Aspen Neuroscience. Dr. Loring serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at StemBioSys.
“NeuroMatrix™ is designed to mimic aspects of the native neural extracellular environment in order to facilitate more predictive in vitro studies,” stated Travis Block, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer of StemBioSys. “This technology has the potential to transform the culture of neuronal cells and may finally provide a reliable model for assaying drug interactions in a biologically relevant microenvironment.”
Dr. Block continued: “Today, preclinical neurotoxicity testing of new drugs is carried out on rodent models that are poorly predictive of human toxicities. We hope that, in time, this technology can supplant poorly predictive non-human testing and reduce the reliance of the pharmaceutical industry on animal testing.”
Achieving mature cell phenotypes is of particular importance for the study of neurological diseases that develop later in life. However, current maturation strategies for neurons often require months in culture, limiting the use of human pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons. Another challenge in the field is the longevity of cultures. After waiting for cells to mature, researchers may only have a narrow time window to assay their cells before they start to lift off the culture dish. Solutions that can improve the long-term culture of neurons offer significant advantages.
Mr. Hutchens concluded, “StemBioSys has repeatedly demonstrated that NeuroMatrix™ contains cues necessary to elicit biologically relevant phenotypes in vitro. This has the potential to overcome key hurdles to the widespread implementation of cell-based models in drug discovery and toxicity testing and expand the use of iPSC-derived neurons.”
About StemBioSys, Inc.
StemBioSys, Inc., a privately held, San Antonio-based biomedical company, manufactures and develops innovative, advanced stem cell technologies to meet the promise of regenerative medicine in a surging global market. Its patented and proprietary technology platforms – licensed from the University of Texas System – overcome key obstacles to creating clinically useful stem cell therapies. StemBioSys markets its products to the global research community under the CELLvo™ brand name.
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